Michael Batzle and Zhijing (Zee) Wang are being honored with the Kauffman Gold Medal for their original and continual development of the petrophysical transforms that estimate the elastic properties of pore-fluid saturations. The work of Mike and Zee is an integral part of today’s fluid-subsitution techniques that are employed in all seismic amplitude and AVO interpretations.
Biography Citation for the SEG Virgil Kauffman Gold Medal Award
Contributed by Amos Nur
It is my great pleasure to write this citation for my former student, colleague, and close friend Zhijing (Zee) Wang. His achievements in rock physics and its applications in reservoir characterization are truly exceptional. Although this award mainly recognizes research in seismic pore fluid properties, which began at Stanford as a graduate student, his contribution to applied geophysics and SEG extends well beyond that work. As a friend, it has been a pleasure watching how he has grown professionally in the past 20 years. Zee is an “accidental” geophysicist. He was born and grew up in a poor, remote village in Shandong Province, China. The Cultural Revolution started when he was in the fourth grade.
He was forced to quit school and was denied formal education for a period. After graduating from high school, he had to return to the village to work as a day laborer and restroom cleaner for three years. Only after the Cultural Revolution was Zhijing allowed to take college entrance exams. As a result he was assigned to Chengdu University of Technology to study applied geophysics. Although geophysics was not his choice then, he immediately immersed himself in this new and strange field and studied hard for four years, obtaining his BS degree in January 1982.
After graduation and three days of intense exams, Zee was selected to study abroad by the Chinese Ministry of Education. He arrived at Stanford in 1983 with minimal spoken English. For the next year or so, while struggling to overcome the double language and culture barriers, he began doing research in rock physics. His thesis covered seismic properties of pore fluids, temperature effect on seismic properties of oil sands, and CO2 flooding effect on seismic properties of reservoir rocks. He obtained his MS in 1984 and PhD in 1988. Zee joined Core Laboratories and Western Geophysical in Calgary, Canada, working on the then novel problem of the feasibility of seismically monitoring light hydrocarbon injection as well as a variety of technical services in rock physics.
He moved to Chevron in 1991 as a research geophysicist in La Habra, California. Over the next 11 years, Zee advanced to group leader and senior research scientist and ultimately to his current position as earth science competency and personnel manager at ChevronTexaco Exploration and Production Technology Company in San Ramon, California.
Zee’s professional interests now include a wide range of technical and research subjects. He was an early proponent of technologies in seismic reservoir monitoring and applications of rock physics in reservoir characterization. He has been a core member of Chevron’s 4D seismic team and one of the world’s authorities in 4D seismic feasibility and rock physics. He has also been active in the geophysics community and its various professional societies. He has served as SEG’s second vice president, general chairman for the 2000 Shenzhen International Symposium on Reservoir Geophysics, Technical Program cochairman for the 1998 Beijing International Geophysical Conference and Exhibition, guest editor for THE LEADING EDGE, and member of the Technical Program Committee for SEG’s 1997 and 1998 Annual Meetings.
He has been an associate editor for GEOPHYSICS since 1996, responsible for reservoir geophysics. Zee is the editor/coeditor of three SEG reprint books on Seismic and Acoustic Velocities in Reservoir Rocks. He was a corecipient of the Best Paper Award presented at the 1997 SEG Annual Meeting.
Zee is extremely hard working. His high standard of ethics, honesty, and integrity has won wide respect at work and in SEG. I know that friends and colleagues share my delight and pride in seeing Zee receive this prestigious honor.
- Wang, Z. (2002) Seismic anisotropy in sedimentary rocks, part 1: A single-plug laboratory method, GEOPHYSICS 67(5):1415.